LINCOLN - If you plan on visiting next week's Alcona County Fair, come hungry. The five-day event kicks off Aug. 20 with a $5 pancake and sausage dinner put on by graduates and supporters of the Alcona FFA, fair volunteer Kevin Boyat said Thursday. Meals for kids are $2, and the dinner runs from 4 to 6 p.m.
After that, youngsters can load up on free cake and ice cream during a star-studded 69th birthday party celebration for Smokey the Bear. Other mascots will be on hand, including Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Cinderella and Sparky the Fire Dog. Organizers have also pulled together goody bags, Smokey Bear hats and prizes for the kids.
"Tuesday is going to be hot, hot, hot," Boyat said. "I'm hoping for at least a couple hundred kids."
Entrance to the fair is free on that day, he said.
"If someone can't really afford to go to the fair they can come and have fun Tuesday," he said.
Other food-related events include garden and home economics judging at 10 a.m. Aug. 20, the fair board's steak fry 5:30 p.m. Aug. 21, a flapjack eating contest at noon Aug. 24, followed by a cake walk contest at 3 p.m.
What: The 42nd Annual Alcona County Fair
Where: ARA Fairgrounds, 854 N. Barlow Road, Lincoln
When: Aug. 20-24. Hours vary, but are usually from 9 a.m. to about 8 p.m.
Admission: Free Aug. 20 and for children 12 and under. Seniors 55 and over $1 Aug. 21; $10 per carload Aug. 22; otherwise $5 a person or $15 for a five-day pass.
For information: 736-9550
Then of course there are the animals. According to the fair schedule, poultry judging opens at 9 a.m., and swine judging is at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 20. On Aug. 21, rabbits, sheep and goats will be shown to judges, along with a category called "pocket pets," for children who live in urban areas.
On Aug. 23, a youth horse show heads the day's activities, starting at 10 a.m. Then horsepower takes over, as tractor pulls and bump and ride heats are on the schedule.
Here are other highlights:
* kid's bike giveaway 6 p.m. each day of the fair. Participants must be present to win.
* Bill Jamerson's Lumberjack program and performances by Cirque Amongus Aug. 21-24
* Draft horse pull 7 p.m. Aug. 21
* Community dance sponsored by Inspiration Alcona 7 p.m. Aug. 22
* Motocross racing at 11 a.m. and bump and run competition 7 p.m. Aug. 24
Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.